I Remember HER!

Between becoming a mother just a few short years ago, the pandemic last year, and just life in general, my femininity had taken a hit. Not only that, but I didn’t know what my identity was. Looking back now that I’m in a better place, I think I was fighting postpartum and some depression (or just hella sadness), but because of this “I have to be strong” mindset, I didn’t fall into those feelings.

I remember rolling out of bed most days even when having to go to work, not putting on makeup. Not ironing. Not caring. As long as I was clean, I was fine. No need for the razzle dazzle. And then when the pandemic hit and we were working from home, I really had no need to do much. I worked in my pjs, lounge wear, and forgot what make up was. I was doing double duty at that point. Working as a mom and at my regular job so who had time to worry about looking “cute”?

But the thing is, I like feeling cute. I like putting in effort in my appearance. I love clothes, shoes, and accessories. I love a fresh pedicure and manicure. I love putting on makeup and enhancing my beauty. I love everything that comes with being a woman. I just started putting everything and everyone first.

For the past few weeks I challenged myself to wear a dress everyday, put on heels, and put on makeup. For some this is a normal everyday routine. For others, you maybe like, “ummm but why”? For me it’s big. It’s a statement. It’s saying, “I am going to take some extra time out of my day to pour into myself”. I will no longer pour all of my energy into other people. I will no longer feel guilty in taking the time out to feel and look pretty.

There will never be enough time, until you make time.

Yesterday I put on a black dress, put on a statement necklace,¬†pearl earrings, and bunned up my locs. I made up my face and slipped on some heels. I got so many compliments from my colleagues and even a kid stopped me in the hall to tell me, “I like your style”.

Look at that! I have style! Sherron has style.

Now I’m remembering who Sherron is.

Unprotected.

I’m a black woman. I’ve always known I was black. From the moment I understood what race was. However, I never let it define me. I’ve just been a girl who became a woman. I never felt the need to put my blackness in the forefront. Never really saw how it affected me until recently.

When we talk about race, we automatically assume it’s about racism. Although I recognize that racism is all around us, this is not that kind of post. This is about me. A black woman. A black woman who doesn’t feel protected and I’m not sure if I ever have (with exception of my dad). And I’m wondering whose fault is that?

Protection does not just mean physically. It means emotionally as well. I have not felt emotionally safe in my relationships. I have not felt safe to rest. I have had to be strong constantly. I have had to be a work horse; always with 2 jobs or more. I have had to worry about everyone around me, take care of everyone around me, and neglect myself. I mention my blackness because this seems to be a theme for other black women I surround myself with and encounter.

And we are tired.

Who protects us when we have breakdowns? When we’re depressed? When we are exhausted? When we absorb all the anger and pain of our loved ones? When do we get to be soft and rest in our femininity?

Who takes care of us?

Is it our fault that we exude too much strength? Does it come from our distant past of being slaves? Working in the fields, in the house, taking abuse, being raped, breastfeeding all the babies, cooking all the food? Being ripped away from our husbands and children? Has that ability to take on pain just been passed down from generation to generation and we accept it as gospel?

Some could blame our men who have not learned to art of protecting, providing, and leading us. Most of them (including us) have been apart of broken homes and we have not been shown or taught what that type of household looks like.

I could come up with many excuses and reasons to why black women don’t feel safe. Many reasons why I don’t feel safe now. But the real issue is, how do we change it? Based on Malcolm X’s famous quote, this feeling, this issue is not new. But it’s something that needs to be addressed.

Protect the black woman.

Intimacy.

It’s not just about penetration of the body.

I need pentration of the soul.

I need connection.

I need devotion.

I need protection.

Every inch of me needs to feel secure.

We concentrate so much on the act of sex, that we forget intimacy. The closeness of being with another person. Being able to let our guards down. To be ourselves. To be free.

We forget to look deep in our lover’s eyes. To say what we mean and mean what we say.

We forget to grab their hand in public; a simple gesture that says, “You’re mine”.

We forget to touch their arm, rub their head, place their face in our hands. Gentle touches that say, “I love you”.

We forget to be close. A simple hug at the end of the day that says, “Lay your burdens down. Rest.”

We forget to kiss them softly and deeply. Acts to say, “I want you”.

And the things we forget can be the demise of our relationships.

Don’t forget intimacy.

Celebration or Toleration?

You know what I love to see? People celebrating the ones they love. Proud to post pictures of their family. Give a birthday shout out. Share an anniversary dedication. Or just a random Man crush Monday or Woman crush Wednesday.

So often you see one person/spouse/significant other (usually the woman) posting the trips, smiling faces during dates, and affectionate declarations of love. And then you go on their partner’s page (usually the man) and that same person who is singing praises is no where to be found.

I’ll use myself as an example. If you look on my Facebook and Instagram it won’t take you long to know that I’m married. You will see a few pictures of my wedding, posts celebrating our anniversary, and random “Look at my husband, I’m so in love posts”. Then if you take a look at my husband’s, you wouldn’t even know we were married. He looks like an eligible bachelor. There’s not one picture of us together. Not one tag from me thats been approved. Not one share of my book or my accomplishments (which I asked him to share). And I can easily write this openly because he doesn’t have any interest in what I’m doing or writing.

Now I know some people are private and want to keep some things off of social media, but in this day and age, is anybody really THAT private?

If your significant other is not excited about you, not celebrating you, not proud of you, then why are with them? They should be your biggest cheerleader. Supporting your hopes and dreams. Happy about your new job. Investing in the business. Promoting your book. Shouting the loudest when you got your degree. And posting a simple, fucking picture of you.

And it goes beyond social media, but hey, that’s a start.

So let’s ask ourselves, are we being celebrated or tolerated?

Enough is enough.

Have you ever found yourself going down the rabbit hole of Facebook? You’re on a friend’s page and see a tag of a mutual friend, which leads you to another page. Then on their page you see a picture of a familiar face. An ex.

The ex that broke your heart. That spent years disappointing you. Stealing time from you. Deceiving you. Until finally you couldn’t take it anymore and you left.

Even though time has passed and you haven’t thought one minute about that ex, somehow you end up lurking on their page. And you see their shiny new family. Their loving spouse. Their newborn baby. Their new house. It’s not that you want those things with them anymore, but you can’t help but wonder why they couldn’t give them to you back then.

Thoughts creep up like:

What was it about me that made them shit on me?

Was I not loving?

Was I not kind?

Did I not give them everything I had?

Was I not smart enough? Good looking enough?

I’m here to tell you that you are enough. That ex wasn’t ready for you then. Not everyone is meant for you or prepared to handle your greatness. And at that time, they weren’t.

Beside that, we all grow and change with time. The same person who was immature and treated you like crap at 20, can mature and treat another like royalty in their 30s.

So enough is enough. Stop beating yourself up over past relationships. You were, are, and always will be enough for the right person.

Period.

Published.

God gave me a story years ago. Matter of fact, he gave me several. What did I do with them? I sat on them for years. Just writing here and there. Making Instragram and Facebook posts. Writing on my blog, but never truly making or investing the time to truly explore my gift.

My mom always said, “If you don’t use the gifts God gave you, He will give them to someone else”. Even though I kept that in the back of my mind, I still was dragging my feet. I kept putting it off out of lack of knowledge, pure laziness, and honestly, fear.

What if nobody likes it?

What if nobody gets what I’m trying to do?

What if I fail?

There are so many questions that may pop up in our mind when we’re trying to do something out of the norm. Especially when it is something that requires us to step out of our comfort zone. That talent that takes us out of that 9 to 5 and requires us to work for ourselves.

I want to be testimony to you, that you are able to work on your hopes and dreams and use your talents all while working a normal job and/or taking care of a family.

This is my dream turned into reality. I give to you, “Rocking Ronnie”. The first of many children’s books that I will publish in the coming years.

Thank God for not taking my talent away due to lack of use. I’m using it right now and forever.

Rocking Ronnie is available now on Amazon in print or e-book:

Order Here

Mind Your Business.

Stop asking people (specifically women) about things that are none of your business. We have to get out of the typical conversations and questions like:

When are you getting married”?

“When are you going to have babies”?

“When are you going to have MORE babies”?

Stop asking me when or if I’m having more kids. I’m still adjusting to the first one! Jayden has just turned one and I still don’t feel like myself.

My stomach still looks like I’m 6 months pregnant. Matter of fact, I have this weird innie/outtie, cabbage patch belly button thing going on and I don’t know if it will ever go back to normal. So much for my belly ring.

None of my clothes fit. I don’t want to wear pants. Or jeans. Actually anything. Putting an outfit together now is torture.

I wear nothing but training bras because they are more comfortable and I can whip out my breasts faster for nursing and pumping. Honestly, I feel like I’ll wear them for the rest of my life.

It’s a struggle just to get my hair, nails, and eyebrows done because I feel like I can’t spare a minute on myself.

Speaking of hair, where are my edges? Why didn’t anyone tell me about postpartum hair shedding?

I was already low maintenance, but I don’t even feel like putting on the little makeup that I was wearing. You’re going to get this bare faced mom. Just be happy I washed it.

Besides trying adjust back to the old me (which may never happen), the birth of Jayden was scary in itself! Both him and myself were in danger and I had no clue until the end of the pregnancy. I am not eager to do that again. And if I don’t that’s perfectly fine.

It’s ok if someone does not want to get married.

It’s ok if someone does not want to have kids.

It’s ok if someone does not want to have MORE kids.

How about asking people if they are happy?

Or how about just mind your business.

Thanks for listening to my TED talk.

Self Care.

For the past 5 months, I have been Jayden’s mom. And for a little more than that, I’ve been Dewayne’s wife. Even before these titles, I have been know to put everyone’s needs and wants ahead of mine and forget that Sherron was here first.

When Jayden was born, I had so much mommy guilt. Mommy guilt to me is doing anything other than tending to your child. When I was on maternity leave and stayed home with Jayden, I had a hard time. If I went to the bathroom, I felt guilty. If I went to the kitchen to fix a meal, I felt guilty. Anytime I put him down and he cried, I felt guilty, because babies don’t just cry for no reason right?

Eventually, I adjusted, got a routine down, and figured Jayden out. But slowly I was forgetting who Sherron was. I started to just morph into nothing but a mom. A caretaker. The provider of milk.

No doubt, I’m tired, but if one more person tells me, “I looked tired”, I’m going to scream.

Sherron used to travel. Try different resturants. Go to the gym. Go to concerts. Now it is (for me and my husband) go to work, come home, take care of Jayden, bathe, eat, sleep, and repeat.

Luckily, my wonderful husband felt the staleness too in our routine and surprised me with a trip to Costa Rica!

Boy when I tell you I was excited! Finally, something to break the routine and a chance to just be Sherron again. But when it was time to go, here came the mommy guilt again. The night before we left, my mom literally had to pry Jayden out my arms and kick me out of the house. At the airport, I was breaking down because I felt so frazzled. Looking for nursing stations made it worse. Pumping and dumping milk that I should be giving my child made me feel sick. But I got on that plane and we made it here.

Guilt tried to creep in, but relief and relaxation pushed it out. I realized there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Even though it’s not mommy or daddy, Jayden is in good hands. And it’s only a few days, he’ll be fine.

We (moms, dads, wives, hubands, hell everyone) has to find time for self care. Whether it’s a trip, a night out, 30 minutes for exercise, or just an hour with some wine and a book, we need to find the time to take care of ourselves. Don’t look at it as neglecting others, but as making sure you are healthy (and sane) to continue to support those around you.

Now that I’m having some time away from Jayden, it has provided me with a new perspective. I can’t be the best that I can for him, if I don’t take the time to pour into me first.

So let’s practice self care all 2019.

Tell Me.

Last night when my husband and I were settling into bed, he looked over at me and said, “Thank you”. I’m literally deep under the covers, in my pjs, doing nothing, so I’m like, “For what”? He said for being a working woman, a mother, a wife…those are a lot of jobs”.

For him to know that even though the responsibilities I have are becoming natural to me, it’s still not easy. I hold these titles because I want them, not for praise, but damn if it didn’t feel good to hear a simple, “Thank you”. It made me feel good to be seen.

We have loved ones right now who wear multiple hats and they do it without compliants. We are so accustomed to them doing their “job”, that we forget that a “thank you” goes a long way.

“I see you”.

“I appreciate you”.

“I’m thankful for you”.

“I love you”.

These are things we can never say too often. If you can’t remember the last time you said it to your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends, take the time to do so. Don’t just think good thoughts and words of affirmation, tell them. Now.

Pardon my Postpartum.

Motherhood. It’s the most beautiful, scary, exciting, and frustrating experience of my entire life.

First, let me say that despite the blog title, I do not have postpartum depression. But I will say that I can see why it is a common occurance in mothers.

Being a parent is HARD.

Even with a partner, it’s hard. Now I am grateful for my baby boy. I am happy to be a mother. It’s exactly what I prayed for and my vision has come to pass. However, I must admit, while I knew I wanted to be a mother, that’s all I knew. I didn’t really think about all the breastfeeding, and diapers, and crying, and late nights. I’m literally writing this after spending a day “cluster feeding” (something I had to look up because I totally thought something was wrong with my son). Most days Jayden stays attached to me and feeds for hours without being satisfied. Then when I supplement with a bottle of formula, he’s perfectly content. It makes me question my milk supply daily and my ability to breastfeed my son. Isn’t that what I was created for? To naturally nourish my child? I remember having a breakdown one night because after feeding for an hour, I couldn’t take it anymore. I took Jayden downstairs to make a bottle. I should have put him down, but it was late and I didn’t want him to wake up my husband. As I was trying to open a bottle of formula, I knocked over the breastmilk I was going to mix it with. That little 2ozs takes 45 minutes of pumping and it was all over the floor. I literally cried over spilled milk.

Most nights I sleep with Jayden on my chest because he won’t sleep any other way. As soon as I lay him down in his bassinet, he wakes up crying. Recently, I got pee’d on at 4 in the morning because the diaper wasn’t put on just right.

Among these occurrences, I’m trying to pump in between feedings, find the time to eat myself, and at least bathe. His dad is great, as soon as he comes home from work he takes over to give me a break. Unfortunately, dad doesn’t have breasts so most of the time Jayden is looking around for me and is unhappy until he’s latched.

When I initially thought about motherhood, this is not what I focused on. I immediately thought of a family, my husband and myself raising a baby, watching him grow up and become great. Which he will, but I admit I didn’t think of everything in between.

I am guilty of “wanting the wedding and forgetting about the marriage”. Literally thinking about having a kid and not thinking about all the responsibility that comes with it. We are often so focused on a goal that we forget all the steps that it takes to reach it.

That doesn’t mean I am not going to continue to work hard at it. I have no choice. My husband and I brought a little human in the world that needs us. So I will continue to get peed on. I’ll pump when I can and breastfeed when he wants. I’ll lose sleep. I’ll sacrifice anything and everything for him because he’s my dream come true.